In working through the split-up of my marriage, I found that the best way to remove the pain was to simply stop feeling. Feelings: none. Play a stupid video game. Read endless posts on FaceBook. Tweet about the state of American politics or lament about the hypocrisy of the love for mankind in evangelical Christianity. The world can keep our minds busy and reeling from the everyday overload of too much information, too much, anger, too much pain. Be brave, chin up, barrel through it all, stop sniveling.
Then the wisdom of those who study, those who think big, comes through. Dr. Brené Brown teaches us that those who live lives of completeness and love have one thing in common: they are vulnerable. Brown writes in Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We live, Love, Parent and Lead that “Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness. To foreclose on our emotional life out of a fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives us purpose and meaning in life.”
Brown’s words are so often packed with emotional punches that I can only read a sentence as day. Often, one sentence has more meaning for me than years and years of religious dogma.
But at the end of the day, none does not cut it. None is the box that we check when we check out. It’s time to move to vulnerability, the pathway from none to full.